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    #1

    Why 'ever' cannot be used in a statement?

    Tom: Has your cat ever caught a mouse?
    Jack: My cat has ever caught a mouse.

    I have been told by a friend that I cannot answer the question with 'ever'. If it is true, why is it so?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why 'ever' cannot be used in a statement?

    Its meaning may be paraphrased as 'at any time'. This is appropriate for interrogative and negative utterances, but not for affirmative ones.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Why 'ever' cannot be used in a statement?

    There is an ancient use of "ever" to mean "always". In theory you could say "My cat has ever caught mice", but this use is extremely uncommon.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why 'ever' cannot be used in a statement?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    There is an ancient use of "ever" to mean "always". In theory you could say "My cat has ever caught mice", but this use is extremely uncommon.
    This sort of 'ever' was used in very formal letter writing. But nowadays nobody would end a letter 'Ever your humble and obedient servant'.

    It's used even now to add persistence to an adjective; the most common is 'ever ready' (which was adopted as a trade mark by a maker of batteries) but it's used to make other adjectives - particularly in compliments: 'My heartfelt thanks to the ever-helpful Mrs B...'

    b

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